By Rosemary MangopeThe campaign was conceived as a platform to acknowledge the remarkable contributions that Woman of Substance made to their communities.  The Department of Arts and Culture, in close co-operation with young people in communities across the country joined hands to celebrate outstanding women who have been unappreciated heroines.  These women quietly and resolutely went about the work of developing their communities.We firstly looked to acknowledge women who have been involved with community development through the cultural industries.  Community based women who are uplifting their communities through their own endeavours and their volition.  We further looked to include women who through using their creativity have been involved in community development work.In addition to the public acknowledgement of Basadi ba Konokono, the campaign was intent on the attainment of several objectives.  The first was to enable these women to develop their communities or create and sell their products or services so that they were able to generate a liveable income for their organisations or themselves.More often than not, some of these women come from difficult, sometimes abusive backgrounds, where they have had to struggle to attain economic autonomy that is accompanied by self-esteem and a resolute belief in their own agency.  It is therefore also important that through the campaign we were able to highlight elements and characteristics that illustrate success in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.   Thus, despite the reticence of these heroines, we were all able to laud the value of their efforts and shower well-deserved accolades on them.The campaign was also intent on encouraging self- efficacy among women, encouraging them to seek out others who. Like themselves, are in need of assistance in times of difficulty.  Through facilitating the recognition of kindred spirits the Campaign sought to highlight ways of eliminating the shamefulness that is sometimes associated with being a victim of abuse.Mosadi Wa Konokono is  a grassroots-driven campaign intent on the economic empowerment of women, we also wish to see the beginning of healing within women, within their families, and in the larger communities.Also, through the changes these campaigns are designed to achieve, we wish to increase the protection of children, we wish to inculcate a sense of responsibility among all adults that they have a duty to love, nurture and cherish these most vulnerable members of our nation. In Gauteng Province:

  • Women with a particular focus on community development using the arts were nominated
  • Youth, through the Creative Writing Campaign of UNISA and GOMAC, selected special women in their communities and
  • Responses from the general public were received in response to an advertisement calling for submissions
An adjudication process took place and eleven women were nominated to come forward to the Provincial finals these were:
  1. Gladys Aghulas
  2. Vanessa Cooke
  3. Celia De Villiers
  4. Phyllis Klotz
  5. Granny Mabitsela
  6. Tu NM Nokwe
  7. Dorah Y Nyoka
  8. Jane Rapulane
  9. Keketso Semoko
  10. Penelope Tlholoe
  11. Cara Walters
Gladys Aghulas, Penelope Tlholoe and Cara Walters were the three finalists for Gauteng Province.Gladys Aghulas won the National Awards.